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Alumni of the Month

November 2014
Michael Marino

Q & A:

What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
That would be 'Statistics.' This was extremely valuable for understanding the relevancy of patterns and probabilities. To this day it provides me with insight for helping me make complicated engineering and business decisions.

What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
Having worked for my father's engineering firm part time while attending school, I started full time after graduation. I started from the ground up and put my newfound knowledge to work on a daily basis. I learned that things are not as complicated as most people think; in fact, they can be somewhat simpler and less stressful.

What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
Consulting engineering. We design the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, sprinkler, fire alarm and telecom infrastructure for all types of buildings. I worked in my dad's firm until 1991 when we founded MG Engineering and proceeded to grow into our present-day 125-person entity.

What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
Don't sweat all the details. They will kill you. Try to look at the bigger picture in all tasks.

In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
Rewarding.

How has your degree helped you?
Now that we are a large entity with all the typical company challenges, such as human resources, personnel management, training, benefits, etc., my education has provided me valuable lessons in these areas.

What is a typical day like for a principal?
A typical day covers every aspect of the business: engineering, project scheduling, staffing, marketing, collections, employee issues, contracts and everything else.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Watching a client's face when we tell him or her we can deliver on time or ahead of schedule. Catering to the client's needs and designing for the right application are the most important aspects of the business.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see your career progressing in the future?

Semiretired! Traveling around the world to exotic beaches!

What is the single most rewarding/exciting experience in your career thus far?

Being a partner at a major NYC consulting engineering firm.

What was a major obstacle you were able to overcome to perform your job?

While I had my business education from Hofstra, I lacked technical engineering training, as I only had a two-year degree. I chose to get back to school and make it a point to learn from my engineering counterparts on the job. It's like being street smart, learning from those who are doing it.

What unique experience or qualifications separate you from other candidates?

I am educated in business from Hofstra, have a technical degree in mechanical engineering, and was self-taught and completed night school for electrical engineering. I consider myself truly multi-disciplined.

How do you balance work and life?

This is the most difficult of jobs, and I try hard now to balance things out. When I was younger it was all work, and so I missed out on some of my daughter's growing up.

How has your job influenced your mentality as a person?

My job has made me a better person with unlimited confidence and aspirations.

Who was the person who most influenced you, and how?

My father was a strong mentor for me. His work ethic and business mind were second to none. He was a legend in the business. Also the people I worked with and learned from and my partners who I admire a great deal.

What is the hardest/toughest part of your job?

Trying to make every client feel as important as they are.

Michael Marino

Michael Marino is a principal of MG Engineering D.P.C., a New York City-based consulting engineering firm incorporated in 1991. The firm provides a full range of consulting services, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and fire alarm systems design, to the commercial real estate community. Headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, the firm opened a satellite office in Hicksville, Long Island, to better serve its clientele. More recently, the firm launched its telecommunications group, MGE Unified Technologies Corp., to serve the IT infrastructure, cabling, audiovisual and security needs of the industry.

From an early age, Michael was surrounded by a family of engineers. He began his career working at his father's firm alongside two of his uncles, a brother and several cousins. As a principal of his own firm, along with his three partners, he oversees the electrical trade of the firm's work and spearheads various aspects of the company's high-level administration, including business development, sales, marketing and operations management.

With over 35 years of experience, Michael has completed projects nationwide specializing in corporate interiors and new/renovated commercial, hospitality, residential and educational buildings.

Among his most recent significant projects are: 70 Pine Street, a one million square foot conversion of the original landmarked AIG building in lower Manhattan from office to residential use and A+E Television Networks, a challenging 300,000 square foot project that converted two (2) existing loft-type factory buildings into class A office and studio space.

Michael holds a bachelor's degree from Hofstra University, an associate degree from the State University of New York in Farmingdale, and a Certificate of Electrical Systems Design from New York University. He is also a LEED Accredited Professional.

Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Michael resides in Massapequa Park with his wife, Joanna. He has two daughters, Jaclyn, an advertising professional, and Lori, an electrical engineer who also works at MGE. During his free time, he enjoys fishing, golfing and traveling.